Plants and people are better together.
What type of landscaping services do you offer?
I am a medicinal landscaper; I work on gardens that are intended to be spaces for healing. I specialize in growing herbs that are used in modern western herbalism and I also have a love for Bay Area native plants. I work with hobby gardeners, clinical herbalists, flower essence practitioners and novice gardeners alike. Every garden is different. Many are intended for beauty and to be a healing or learning space. Some are designed for mid-size production while others are for home use. I am open to any projects that have healing at their core.
What is your experience as a landscape gardener?
My first large garden project was 1849 Medicine Garden, an urban herbal medicine farm in which I grew over 50 medicinal plants in the Mission District of SF, CA. I have experience from seed cultivation to mature plant harvest as a medicine maker for my seed-to-bottle apothecary with 1849. I also have six years of experience as a landscape assistant in SF, working in private homes and gardens. These days I support others in creating the medicine garden of their dreams for personal and professional use.
What kinds of rates / services do you offer?
I offer two services at two different rates:
Landscaping via bike: This requires that the client has all necessary supply and large tools available (shovels, ladders, whatever is necessary) at the garden site and that the garden is within biking distance. This option is best for maintenance projects. I will arrive on my bike with pruners, a hori hori, a tree saw, and landscaping bags and will get to work on your garden.
Landscaping via automobile: This is the best option for installation and design projects. Once we discuss the goals and scope of the project, I will pick up all the supplies and provide all tools needed to get the job done.
1849 Medicine Garden in Late Summer
Photo by Selina Jean Weiss
What is your landscaping philosophy?
I believe living, breathing plants are medicine and that all people deserve access to the earth. I know that all of our ancestors used plants as medicine, and most of them did not live in cities - most of our ancestors lived in harmony with (or direct relationship with) the earth and all of her plant beings. Wild spaces were not the exception they were the rule.
Gardens are medicine because they provide us joy and beauty. They exemplify growth and abundance. They increase biodiversity, create webs of mycelium, generate seeds, and provide shelter for insects and animals. They can provide us with food, medicine, and textiles. So much of our lives come from the abundance that plants offer us, and it is our job to offer them space in our gardens and hearts. I believe gardens should be beautiful, useful and accessible to all.
How are your clinical and landscaping work connected?
Mother Earth is the driving force behind all of my work.
When we find our personal connection to the earth, healing occurs. I offer medicinal landscaping because I believe all people should have access to plants that heal. However, it is tending a garden that is the greatest medicine of all.
I encourage my landscaping clients to be involved in the process of garden development, and I encourage my clinical clients to tend plants.